Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Department of Biological Sciences, Presidency University, Kolkata, India;

2 Department of Physiology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India; and Department of Physiology, Ananda Mohan College, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India;

3 Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, India


Background: Arsenic toxicity is a major global health problem and exposure via contaminated drinking water has been associated with hematological and other systemic disorders. The present investigation has been conducted in adult male rats to evaluate the protective ability of α-lipoic acid (ALA) against such hematological disorders.Methods: Twenty-four adult male Wister rats (b.wt.130±10g) were grouped and accordingly group I (control) received the normal diet, group II (treated) was given arsenic orally for 28 consecutive days as arsenic trioxide (3 mg/kgbw/rat/day) whereas group III (supplemented) received the same dose of arsenic along with ALA (25 mg/kgbw/rat/day) as oral supplement. Hematological profile, plasma oxidant/antioxidant status, and erythrocyte morphology were assessed. Statistical analysis was done by one-way ANOVA using SPSS software (version 16.0). Results: Arsenic exposure caused reduction of erythrocyte (P=0.021), leucocyte (P<0.001), and hemoglobin (P=0.031) associated with echinocytic transformation as evidenced by light and scanning electron microscopic studies. The other significantly altered parameters include increased mean corpuscular volume (P=0.041) and lymphocytopenia (P<0.001) with insignificant neutropenia and eosinophilia. Altered serum oxidative balance as evidenced by decreased TAS (P<0.001) and increased TOS (P<0.001) with OSI (P<0.001) was also noted. The dietary supplementation of ALA has a beneficial effect against the observed (P<0.05) arsenic toxicities. It brings about the protection by restoring the hematological redox and inflammatory status near normal in treated rats. Arsenic-induced morphological alteration of erythrocytes was also partially attenuated by ALA supplementation.Conclusion: It is concluded that arsenicosis is associated with hematological alterations and ALA co-supplementation can partially alleviate these changes in an experimental male rat model.